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07-31-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
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DA 55-300 Issue ?

When I first purchased the DA 55-300 I found it sharp. My only complaints were the AF was a little slow and noisy. In February last year I was using it on vacation and found it to be soft and almost all the shots were OOF.

I have tried it on the K5 and not much difference. It seems very soft and shots are OOF. I have tired all metering options , various focal lengths and even selective focus. I thought maybe camera shake so I tried setting in on a table and hand hold at 1/2000 of a sec. No improvement. I don't think it's a BF or FF issue as the whole image looks soft and OOF - and even the fence is soft which is pretty static

I think this had a 2 year warrenty so I may just bring it in. Any opinions ?

Examples below.

1/350 (could be motion blur or camera shake)




100 Crop



1/2000 should elimate motion blur and or camera shake




100 Crop





07-31-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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I'd have to agree that there is something seriously wrong with your lens.
07-31-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Looks like something definitely wrong there, not misfocused as nothing appears to be particularly sharp anywhere.
Might this be a misaligned element? I assume it would be worse if you tried a closer subject (ie @ 1.5m mfd). manual focus also bad?


SR on when handheld? SR off when sitting on the table? ....... just checking.
08-01-2011, 03:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Steve yes SR on sometimes at closer focus it seems ok (with AF) but not consistent - I have tried manual focus and at infity I can't get a FL. Looks like I will have to send it in and hope it is a warrenty issue.

08-01-2011, 06:06 AM   #5
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I might be having the same problems with mine. Did a shoot a couple weekends ago and they were coming out like I had my ISO cranked up. I will have to test tonight when I get home.
08-01-2011, 06:56 AM   #6
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DA 55-300 issue

Mine produced results like that (slightly worse in fact) after I dropped it. Despite being repaired by Pentax and declared within spec it was never the same again.

Did you knock it against something?
08-01-2011, 07:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by timo Quote
Mine produced results like that (slightly worse in fact) after I dropped it. Despite being repaired by Pentax and declared within spec it was never the same again.

Did you knock it against something?
No not that I remember anyway ..........it was in the same bag as all my other lenses when not on the camera - that's what I thought as well (some kind of physical damage) - most depressing to hear it was still no good after a repair - oh well I have no choice at this point - off to the shop and hopefully in 4 - 6 weeks I can test it again. When I first purchased it , I was amazed at the quality for such a 'consumer' lens.

One of my favorite shots with it


08-01-2011, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quite a difference there! Something isn't right with it, that's for sure.

08-01-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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Not by any chance using a filter, are you? The second picture, btw, is kind of hsrd to tell because it sppears to be at high ISO and that seems to be killing off some of the detail. But the same soft glow around the flowers is what makes me wonder about the filter.
08-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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Reeftool - Marc

Indeed there is a difference - Marc no filter on the lens. Today I was an able to nail the issue down to an infinity focus - I took some shots in good lght (ISO 100-400) and the 55mm were sharp , autofocus locked quickly and distance looked accurate.

I noticed if I took a shot a 55 then zoomed out to 300mm the distance would not change and autofocus would not lock. If I manually turned it to infinity I could lock foucs (however the images are still very soft ).

So it appears to me to be an mechanical failire of some short that I am hoping can be fixed by Penatx as I quite like this lens.

Thanks for all the feedback - *please providfe more if you thik there is a DYI fix for that tough
08-01-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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I took her into the shop. She is now on the long Journey acrosss Canada where it will sit for a couple of weeks, someone will look at it , give me a quote , then depending on how much that is , sit for another week , get fixed and sent back to me. All of this miracle can happen in 4 - 6 weeks. I know a lot of us have expereiienced this 4 - 6 week thing, in a word it sucks , but on the birght side it won't ruin any pictures for the next 4 -6 weeks
08-01-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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Have you tried manual focus before sending the lens?
08-01-2011, 05:45 PM   #13
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All the best for the repair Dave.
I think it'll be worth it. It's one of my favourite DA zooms.
08-02-2011, 04:41 AM   #14
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laurentiu - thanks yes I did try manual focs and at infinity I could not get it in focus.

Ash - thanks it is one of my favorites as well. It was not on warrenty unfortunatley (we get 2 years in Canada) - so we'll see what the damage is - should know in a couple of weeks.
08-02-2011, 07:16 AM   #15
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I had trouble with mine after about 6 months, though I had never been all that impressed with it in the first place. I finally decided to send mine in for repair as it looked decentered as well as being quite soft, and the replacement lens I got back is much better, and seems to be holding up well (it's now a year old).

Good luck with your repair.
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